These materials have been converted which makes the difference between a young tree and an old, matured tree. Stradivari looked for the old, slowly grown alpine spruce. He was looking for wood which had finished this maturing process in the inner part of the log.
Growth Rings: Only the innermost core of a thousand year old oak is really 1000 years old.
Matured in the Forest
If we were looking at the core of an oak tree which was 1,000 years old, we would find that the core of the tree is indeed a thousand years old, unless the tree is hollowed out. Those thousand years have not passed without leaving traces. Resins, tannins, dyes and an array of different substances have been deposited in the innermost part of the trunk.
They warm up and act as a short-lived heat accumulator, while the high natural heat insulation properties of the wooden walls act as long-lasting heat storage. The house does not have any heating or ventilation, and its air quality and temperature are constantly monitored as part of the research project. Its indoor temperature in winter has never dropped below 18° C.
Therefore he erected a five-floor house in the Bernese Oberland in the Matterhorn area of the Alps, which retains such an optimized facade with an intelligent arrangement of glass elements that during the day the sun falls through large windows on the so-called “sun traps” in the form of black stone floors.
It is a structure so complex that the inner surface of one cubic centimeter of wood consists of 150 to 200 square meters in surface area. Not only is this excellent structure the best natural heat insulator, but it also accumulates and stores heat well.
It is hard to imagine, but the dense, hard timber that you can crack your head against is nothing but transformed air. Trees draw carbon dioxide from the air, returns oxygen, and uses carbon to build the most incredible structure that mankind refers to as wood. It only utilizes water and a small amount of minerals from the earth for this purpose.